Since he founded his first real estate brokerage, entrepreneur Jack Berube has seen real estate agents and brokers struggle to find the right technology for their needs. Once he embarked on a new business as a back office management firm managing 320 brokerage firms across the U.S. and Canada, the solution came together for him.
“We provided virtual assistant services to those firms. We had to become experts in all these various products. If our company provided services for you, we had to get up to speed with what tech you were using; and if I went to your competition, I had to learn what they were using,” says Berube.
Berube became a sponge for the needs and wants that real estate brokers wanted to see in their technology, regardless of where they worked. His new venture, end-to-end real estate-focused platform Pathway, is the culmination of that feedback.
“We built what the industry told us they wanted,” says Berube. “Before we even had our product, we were approached by National Realtors Association while I was going around the circuit gathering feedback. We identified that the two big problems that are preventing wide-scale, widespread adoption of tech in real estate is the ease of use and price.”
According to Berube, brokers will download several apps or web clients to keep track of drip marketing, transaction management, digital signatures, cloud storage, accounting and lead generation. The average real estate professional in the U.S. subscribes to 5-7 different, non-integrated tools to do their job, spending $200 per month on average. Even then, brokers have a less than 10 percent adoption rate of the tech provided by their associations.
Pathway aims to host all of these solutions in one easy-to-access platform.
The Atlanta-based startup launched its beta at the end of last year with 20,000 agents and a small investment from the National Realtors Association to push product development forward. Their first go-to market strategy was through partnership with realtor associations, creating a white label product for each one. They signed up more than 20 local associations representing 317,000 real estate agents.
With the platform, the agent can easily change affiliations inside the product, for example from REMAX to Keller Williams, and keep the same interface. It can also be used by independent brokers under Pathway’s branding.
“We set out to build a platform that removed a lot of the bloatware that agents weren’t using in the other products available at an affordable rate so that even for agents that only doing a couple of deals of the year, it makes sense for them to use our product,” says Berube.
The platform also allows brokers to communicate with their team through task lists, and with current and former clients through a portal where they can see all of their documents. If the homeowner later decides to sell their home, they can use the platform to go back to their agent or search for a new one.
“We’re saving the agent, on average, 66 percent of their monthly bill, and about 20 to 25 hours per transaction of busy work,” says Berube. “We’re putting time and money back in their pockets.”
Pathway is on a monthly subscription revenue model with various tiers depending on whether the customer is a solo broker or part of a bigger organization. They will soon introduce a vendor rating system for new homeowners to access vendors in their area such as inspectors and contractors.
Following the public launch this month, Berube shares that they’re entering fundraising mode to raise their next round of $500,000 to fuel product development and onboard larger clients.